First Quantum Minerals said it now expects to invest $6.4bn at the Cobre Panama project, as the company unveiled its revised capital cost estimate for the development.
The new proposed capital cost is higher than the earlier estimate of $6.2bn, by INMET Mining.
The company said the revised project will have an installed capacity of about 70 million tonnes per year for the first ten years, which is 17% higher than the Inmet plan. It will produce an average of about 320,000t of copper annually over the life of the mine, which is up about 20% from previous figures.
The project can further expand to 100 million tonnes per year beyond the tenth year and the mine life is estimated at 34 years.
Since acquiring Inmet in 2013, First Quantum’s focus has been to review and stabilise all activities and focus on the key aspects of the project dvelopment, including the construction and contracting plans and the implementation of site infrastructure.
First Quantum said it is still reviewing the potential sale of excess power and the validation of the measured and indicated resource estimate as reported and filed by Inmet in May 2010.
Cobre Panama is a large copper porphyry deposit located approximately 120km west of Panama City in the Donoso district.
The mine has four concessions, which are spread across 13,600ha and the project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2017.
Upon completion of First Quantum’s acquisition of Inmet Mining, the company assumed an 80% equity stake in Minera Panamá (MPSA), the Panamanian company that holds the Cobre Panama concession.
MPSA was incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Panama in January 1997 and has a mineral concession to explore and exploit the Cobre Panama property.
Image: The Cobre project is located about 120km west of Panama City in the Donoso District. Photo: courtesy of Inmet Mining Corportion.